|Died||May 7, 2022 (aged 55)|
Seoul, South Korea
|Other names||Kang Su-yeon, Kang Soo-youn|
|Revised Romanization||Gang Su-yeon|
Kang Soo-yeon (Korean: 강수연; August 18, 1966 – May 7, 2022) was a South Korean actress. An internationally acclaimed star from the mid-1980s to the end of the 1990s, she is often honorifically nicknamed as Korea's "first world star".
Kang began her acting career as a child actor and gained national recognition with A High School Student's Diary on KBS 1TV (1983–1984), and the comedy films Whale Hunting 2 (1985) and Mimi and Cheolsu's Youth Sketch (1987). However, she would remain unknown outside her own country until her breakout role in Im Kwon-taek's The Surrogate Woman (1987).[A] She won the Volpi Cup for Best Actress at the 44th Venice International Film Festival for her role, making her the first Korean actor to receive an award at a major international film festival. In 1989, she received the Bronze St. George as an actress at the 16th Moscow International Film Festival for Come Come Come Upward (1989), which further established her "world star" title.
From the early-2000s and onwards however, her input slowed significantly. Kang took years off between film appearances and switched to acting in the small screen—where she obtained moderate success for starring in Ladies of the Palace (2001–02) on SBS TV. Her last film that was released during her lifetime was Juri (2013). After a nine-year gap, she was set to return to film with a Netflix original Jung_E, directed by Yeon Sang-ho. The film, which finished filming in January 2022, is slated for posthumous release later in the year.
Kang died on May 7, 2022, after collapsing from cerebral hemorrhage at her home in southern Seoul.
Kang began professionally acting as a child in 1969.
The child actress Kang was in a number of low-profile movies and TV shows in the 1970s and 1980s.
Her career breakthrough was when she took on a lead role as the vulnerable teenager Ok-nyo in the Im Kwon-taek-directed movie, The Surrogate Woman.[A] For the film, she was honored with the Volpi Cup for Best Actress award at the 1987 Venice International Film Festival, as well as the Best Actress Award at the Nantes International Film Festival. The former achievement marked the first time a Korean actor, female or male, had been given an award at the major film festival. At the time, it was still considered shocking to many that South Korea even had an industry in film.
Two years later in March, Come Come Come Upward, a Buddhist-themed movie that was also directed by Im, was released. In the film, Kang played the role of Sun-nyeo, a young student who sought refuge in the monastery to escape from her troubled home and study to become a nun, and later fell in love with the person who tried to take away her modesty. Kang did in fact get her head shaved onscreen in the scene when Sun-nyeo became a nun. She personally felt proud of her performance—later stating she felt her ego was insignificant to her portrayal and that it was "natural for [Sun-nyeo] to shave her head" due to the character's wish to be a nun. Consequently, she won the Bronze St. George at the 16th Moscow International Film Festival for her role in Come Come Come Upward, establishing further credit as Korea's "world star".
In the same year, she was invited to serve as a juror in the Tokyo International Film Festival. In addition, she later became a member of the jury for the 17th Moscow International Film Festival in 1991.
In the 1990s, Kang appeared in a number of movies. The most notable of which are Jang Sun-woo's Road to the Racetrack (1991), That Woman, That Man (1993) by Kim Ui-seok, Lee Myung-se's film about adultery titled Their Last Love Affair (1996) and Im Sang-soo's debut Girls' Night Out (1998). Road to the Racetrack won her several accolades for Best Actress at award ceremonies: the Baeksang Arts Awards, Chunsa Film Art Awards and the Blue Dragon Film Awards. That Woman, That Man was a commercial success in the box office and she earned another Baeksang Arts Award for Most Popular Actress (her first being in 1990 for her performance in All That Falls Has Wings).
By the end of the decade, she had acted in 32 movies. After Rainbow Trout was released in 1999, she cut down her work in movies and took to acting on television. Kang was invited to be a juror in the 5th Pusan International Film Festival in the year 2000.
After a 15-year gap, Kang returned to television in 2001. Kang was given a starring role in Ladies of the Palace (여인 천하; Yeo-in cheon-ha), a historical drama that aired on SBS TV that year. The 150-episode series was successful, and it managed to garner her renewed visibility among mainstream audiences. Her performance as Jeong Nan-jeong enabled her to win a daesang awarded by the channel. After a brief hiatus from the movie scene, she made her comeback by playing the role of an attorney in The Circle. Kang then appeared in two more movies: Hanbando in 2006, and With a Girl of Black Soil in 2007 respectively. Hanbando received largely negative reviews. In 2007, she continued her foray into mainstream TV by acting in the drama miniseries Moonhee on MBC TV. In Moonhee, she played the role of a woman (Ha Moon-hee) who is forced to leave her child she had when she was only eighteen. Thus, the show seeks to portray the travails of Ha's life.
2010s and 2020s
At 5:48 p.m. (KST) on May 5, 2022, Kang was found unconscious at her home in southern Seoul by first responders. They reported that she had suffered a cardiac arrest after collapsing from a cerebral hemorrhage. Immediately, she was transported to the local Gangnam Severance Hospital: there she was admitted to the ICU and comatose.
After receiving two days of medical treatment at the hospital, she died at 3 p.m. on May 7, 2022. She was cremated in the Seoul Memorial Park(Korean: 서울추모공원) and her ashes were buried at the Honor Stone (Korean: 용인공원) on May 11, 2022.
Jeonju International Film Festival, which incidentally concluded on May 7, 2022, commemorated her legacy through social media, writing, "The Jeonju International Film Festival commemorates the passing of the late actress Kang Soo-yeon, who was a shining star of Korean cinema. I will not forget the legacy she left in the Korean film industry."
|1978||Where is My Mother?|
|Good Bye, Sorrow!|
|A Chorus of Pigeons|
|A Letter from the Heaven|
|1982||The Two Tomboys|
|1985||Whale Hunting 2|
|1987||Now, We are Going to Geneva|
|The Surrogate Woman (Sibaji)|
|Mimi and Cheolsu's Youth Sketch|
|1988||Miri, Mari, Uri, Duri|
|1989||Come Come Come Upward|
|Shock Continues Long|
|1990||All That Falls Has Wings|
|Road to the Racetrack|
|1992||Blue in You|
|That Woman, That Man|
|1995||Go Alone Life a Rhino's Horn|
|1996||Their Last Love Affair|
|1998||Girls' Night Out|
|2007||With a Girl of Black Soil|
|1971||The Adventures of Ttolttol-yi|
|1979||Oseong and Haneum|
|1980||Jang Yeong-sil, the Wind Boy|
|1983–84||A High School Student's Diary|
|1986||TV Literary Theater|
|2001||Ladies of the Palace|
Awards and nominations
This section needs additional citations for verification. (May 2022)
|1984||20th Baeksang Arts Awards||Best New Actress||Diary of a High School Student||Won|
|1987||26th Grand Bell Awards||Best Actress||Now, We are Going to Geneva||Won|
|44th Venice International Film Festival||Volpi Cup for Best Actress||The Surrogate Woman||Won|
|Asian Film Festival||Best Actress||Won|
|Faro Island Film Festival (Golden Moon Award)||Best Actress||Won|
|9th Three Continents Festival||Won|
|1989||27th Grand Bell Awards||Come, Come, Come Upward||Won|
|Moscow International Film Festival||Won|
|9th Korean Association of Film Critics Awards||Won|
|1990||10th Korean Association of Film Critics Awards||All That Falls Has Wings||Won|
|28th Grand Bell Awards||Won|
|26th Baeksang Arts Awards||Best Actress (Film)||Won|
|11th Blue Dragon Film Awards||Best Leading Actress||Nominated|
|1992||3rd Chunsa Film Art Awards||Best Actress||The Road to Racetrack||Won|
|13th Blue Dragon Film Awards||Best Leading Actress||Won|
|28th Baeksang Arts Awards||Best Actress (Film)||Won|
|1993||31st Grand Bell Awards||Best Actress||Blue in You||Nominated|
|14th Blue Dragon Film Awards||Best Leading Actress||Nominated|
|1994||30th Baeksang Arts Awards||Most Popular Actress||That Woman, That Man||Won|
|15th Blue Dragon Film Awards||Best Leading Actress||Rosy Days||Nominated|
|1995||16th Blue Dragon Film Awards||Go Alone Life a Rhino's Horn||Nominated|
|1996||17th Blue Dragon Film Awards||Their Last Love Affair||Nominated|
|1997||18th Blue Dragon Film Awards||Deep Blue||Nominated|
|1999||20th Blue Dragon Film Awards||Rainbow Trout||Nominated|
|2000||36th Baeksang Arts Awards||Best Actress (Film)||Won|
|37th Grand Bell Awards||Best Actress||Nominated|
|2001||SBS Drama Awards||Grand Prize (Daesang)||Ladies of the Palace||Won|
|Top 10 Stars||Won|
|2002||38th Baeksang Arts Awards||Best Actress (TV)||Nominated|
|2015||Women in Film Korea Festival||Woman in Film of the Year||N/A||Won|
References and notes
- The film was released in South Korea in 1987, however some may state the release year as 1986, presumably when it was filmed.
- Jung, Joong-hun (September 20, 1987). ""방화 외국모방 벗어야한다" 베니스서 수상「씨받이」감독 임권택". The Chosun Ilbo (in Korean). p. 7. Archived from the original on May 8, 2022. Retrieved May 8, 2022 – via Naver News Library.
- Baek, Seung-chan (March 9, 2011). "강수연 "임권택 영화…시나리오도 나오기 전 출연 결정"". Kyunghyang Shinmun (in Korean). Archived from the original on May 8, 2022. Retrieved May 8, 2022.
- Kang, Chun-jin (May 8, 2022). "[도청도설] 월드스타 강수연". Kookje Shinmun. Archived from the original on May 8, 2022. Retrieved May 8, 2022.
- Oh, Seung-hoon (May 8, 2022). "'할머니 배우' 꿈꾸던 월드스타 강수연, 하늘 무대로" [World star Kang Su-yeon dreamed of being a ‘grandma actress’, is heading towards the sky stage]. The Hankyoreh (in Korean). Archived from the original on May 8, 2022. Retrieved May 8, 2022.
- Kim, Hyung-seok. "영화배우 강수연". Navercast (in Korean). Naver Corporation. Archived from the original on May 6, 2022. Retrieved May 8, 2022.
- koreanfilm.org Brief profile Archived December 15, 2018, at the Wayback Machine Retrieved on Nov 9, 2007
- koreanmovie.com Two World Stars Speak About Life, Acting Archived 2007-10-11 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved on Nov 9, 2007
- cinemaya.net Come, Come, Come Upward summary Archived 2007-05-17 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved on Nov 9, 2007
- Gombeaud, Adrien (February 23, 2001). "Kang Su-youn: An Interview". Koreanfilm.org. Archived from the original on March 3, 2001. Retrieved September 9, 2007.
- "16th Moscow International Film Festival (1989)". MIFF. Archived from the original on March 16, 2013. Retrieved February 24, 2013.
- Kim, Byung-jae (January 16, 1990). "불꽃튀는 女優戰國(여우전국)시대 맞아". Maeil Business Newspaper (in Korean). p. 20. Archived from the original on May 8, 2022. Retrieved May 8, 2022 – via Naver News Library.
- "17th Moscow International Film Festival (1991)". MIFF. Archived from the original on April 3, 2014. Retrieved March 2, 2013.
- koreanfilm.org Awards List in excel spreadsheet Archived March 8, 2018, at the Wayback Machine Retrieved on Nov 10, 2007
- cinemasie.com Baeksang Arts Awards Archived May 25, 2011, at the Wayback Machine Retrieved on Nov 10, 2007
- Pusan International Film Festival Archive[permanent dead link] Retrieved on Nov 10, 2007
- china.tour2korea.com Profile (Chinese)[permanent dead link] Retrieved on Nov 10, 2007
- content.mbc.co.kr MoonHee TV Drama (English) Archived May 15, 2007, at the Wayback Machine Retrieved on Nov 10, 2007
- "The Chosun Ilbo (English Edition): Daily News from Korea - Actress Kang Soo-yeon to Helm This Year's Busan Film Fest". English.chosun.com. July 7, 2015. Archived from the original on August 15, 2015. Retrieved January 16, 2016.
- Hyo, Lee (July 6, 2015). "Busan: Icon Kang Soo-yeon Names Festival Co-Director". Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on July 8, 2015. Retrieved January 16, 2016.
- Park, Sun-young (December 3, 2009). "New Im Kwon-taek film focuses on hanji". Korea JoongAng Daily. Archived from the original on December 27, 2021. Retrieved May 11, 2022.
- Lee, Hyo-won (July 6, 2015). "South Korean Actress, National Icon Kang Soo-yeon Named Busan Festival Co-Director". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on May 8, 2022. Retrieved May 8, 2022.
- Kim, Bo-ram (May 7, 2022). "Film icon Kang Soo-youn dies at 55". Yonhap News Agency. Archived from the original on May 7, 2022. Retrieved May 7, 2022.
- Song, Sang-ho (May 5, 2022). "(LEAD) Veteran actress Kang unconscious after cardiac arrest". Yonhap News Agency. Archived from the original on May 5, 2022. Retrieved May 7, 2022.
- "Kang Soo-yeon remains in coma after cerebral hemorrhage". Dong-a Ilbo. Archived from the original on May 8, 2022. Retrieved May 7, 2022.
- Kim Na-ra (May 7, 2022). "[속보] 강수연, 의식 불명 사흘만 별세…향년 56세" [[Breaking News] Kang Su-yeon, unconscious and passed away after three days... age 56] (in Korean). My Daily. Archived from the original on May 8, 2022. Retrieved May 7, 2022 – via Naver.
- "Kang Soo-yeon, Veteran Korean Actor, Dies at 55". Variety.
- Jung Yu-jin (May 7, 2022). "전주국제영화제 "故 강수연 영면 추모…유산 잊지 않겠다" [공식]" [Jeonju International Film Festival "Memorial of the late Kang Su-yeon... I will not forget the legacy"]. News 1 (in Korean). Naver. Archived from the original on May 8, 2022. Retrieved May 7, 2022.
- Kim Myung-mi (July 6, 2021). "연상호 감독 '정이' 제작, 강수연-김현주-류경수 캐스팅(공식입장)" ["Director Yeon Sang-ho's 'Jeong-i' is produced, and Kang Su-yeon, Kim Hyeon-joo, and Ryu Kyung-soo are cast (official position)]. Newsen (in Korean). Naver. Archived from the original on July 9, 2021. Retrieved July 6, 2021.
- Cinespot.com Selected Filmography Archived 2016-03-06 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved on Nov 9, 2007
- asiandb.com Selected Filmography Archived March 14, 2022, at the Wayback Machine Retrieved on Nov 9, 2007